Having a stage-4 cancer diagnosis at 29 might prompt some people to frantically attempt every far-flung journey on their bucket lists.
But Ontario resident Nicole Jannis – who is continuing to fight the disease – says her goals are much simpler.
“You really just want to sit at home with your husband and your dog and watch Netflix and do what’s normal to you. That’s what you crave,” Jannis told Yahoo! News’s Daily Brew in a story that detailed her fighting spirit and upbeat attitude in the face of cancer.
Jannis wasn’t surprised by her breast cancer diagnosis last year, as cancer runs in her family and she had been told she was BRCA positive at 27.
She always assumed it would be an inconvenience she would treat and beat.
“From the very beginning it was, ‘All right! I’m going to go through cancer, and this is going to be something I do and then be done with it and I’ll move on and have my babies and life carries on.’ I never ever wavered from that,” said Jannis.
To keep the mood light, she and her mom wore wacky outfits to her chemotherapy appointments. She also chronicled her cancer journey with a series of optimistic posts on her blog, Boobie and the Beast.
“I think that’s a huge testament of how I’ve been able to get through this past year, probably denial, but also pure optimism to the point where I was like ‘Oh, I’ll never die from this, that’s crazy,’ ” she said.
Staying on top of her treatment and feeling positive about her prognosis, she was taken aback in January when she was told the cancer had been deemed stage 4 and “terminal,” metastasizing to her bones and spreading to her liver and lungs.
Now faced with a new reality, Jannis admits it took some time to adjust.
“I remember throwing up right away ’cause that was just my go-to,” she said of learning the grim diagnosis. “It was just utter despair at first, like holy s—, let’s just give up.”
But after the shock wore off, Jannis’s upbeat spirit shined through again – and she is choosing to continue her treatment.
“You can only wallow for so long,” she said. “You should never be told you’re going to die, because I think if you believe that then you will.”
“I’m positive because I don’t know how not to be,” she added.